Subject: Re: bin/4167: WIBNI sh supported file/command/etc completion?
To: Curt Sampson , John Nemeth <>
From: Open Carefully -- Contents Under Pressure <>
List: current-users
Date: 09/27/1997 22:13:52
Curt Sampson sez:

 * On Sat, 27 Sep 1997, John Nemeth wrote:
 * >      I think job control is very useful, but I don't see any need for
 * > command line editing or filename completion in a minimal shell.  Don't
 * > people know how to type anymore?
 * I guess not. I only type at 90 wpm. :-/

Wow.  That's actually quite impressive.  90wpm == 360cpm = 6cps.  (or
are words 5 characters?  I've forgotten.  It's been too long.)

Is your typing rate even faster than that and you're adjusting -5 for each
typo you make, or do you discount typos since one can hit ^W and retype
in the blink of an eye?

 * Surely I'm not the only one regularly generating several-hundred-character
 * shell scripts from the command line.

I've actually been masochistic enough to do that -- once just to see if
something worked.  It did, though I can't remember what it was I wanted

I still don't see a need for /bin/sh to support CLE, though; if you want
a "real" shell (...that does "all this"), I'd figure you'd be better
off with bash.  Either that, or have /bin/sh compile to be a subset
of what it is now and name the full set something else in /bin.

Okay, sure, for our sake, it's really picking nits at this point, but
one of my favourite tenets of programming is that "The plenitude of
disk space, the availability of processor speed and the cheapness of
memory are not excuses for shoddy programming or code bloat.  If
you want to bloat the code, start a new project, but leave the old
stuff alone."

I thought it was cool that csh got the filec stuff.
I thought it was cooler that Christos cobbled% together tcsh instead
of trying to rename it 'csh'.

I think sh as it stands is bloated right now.  The extent of the en-
hancements should have stopped with the implementation of shell functions
[which I must admit I sorely missed on 4.3 stock sh!].

Maybe it's just force of habit, but when I'm in single-user mode I make
no assumptions about the shell.  It takes input, runs it and produces
err^H^H^Houtput.  Ditto for the availability of an editor -- I assume
that /bin/ed exists and that's about it.

[A decade++ of UNIX sysadmin will do this to you...]


In any case, I'm decidedly in the boat that thinks sh should be smaller
and the current sh should be called something else.

Either that or we should write 'ash' in C (instead of shell scripts).

"Come, or we shall be late."  "Late for what?"  "What is your name?"  "Dent.
Arthur Dent."  "Late, as in 'the late Dentarthurdent'."